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Same-sex sitcom pulled from Mormon-owned station

Saturday, August 25, 2012 17:18 EDT

The NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City, Utah, won’t show a new sitcom based around a same-sex couple’s adoption process.

Jeff Simpson, CEO of Bonneville International, which owns KSL-TV, told The Salt Lake Tribune that his organization sometimes struggles with programming because of content issues, and that the show, The New Normal, crosses that boundary.

“For our brand, this program feels inappropriate on several dimensions,” Simpson said. “Especially during family viewing time.”

Last year, the station cited brand inconsistencies in not airing NBC’s drama The Playboy Club. The show received a critical drubbing and was quickly canceled.

This latest move comes about a month after the conservative group One Million Moms organized a boycott of the show, calling it “damaging to our culture.”

Bonneville is owned by the Mormon church, and as ThinkProgress reports, the station’s reach extends not only throughout the state of Utah, but into parts of Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming.

The show deals with a gay couple (Justin Bartha and Andrew Rannells) who enlist a woman (Georgia King) to carry a pregnancy to term for them, over the objections of her grandmother (Ellen Barkin). Barkin took to Twitter to denounce the station’s decision, asking, “So L&O SVU (rape & child murder) is ok? But loving gay couple having a baby is inappropriate?,” referring to the crime drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

The dispute over the show is not mentioned at all on KSL’s website, though there are wire stories listing it as part of NBC’s fall schedule. The show is scheduled to debut on Sept. 11, but the general manager of two other local stations, KUCW-TV and KTVX-TV told the Tribune he is looking for an available weekend time-slot in which to air it if KSL refuses to pick it up.

The trailer for the show, which has been on YouTube since May, can be seen below.

by Anonymousreply 2412/06/2012

I HATE Mormons. A horrible religion, with horrible adherents.

by Anonymousreply 108/25/2012

As long as they are doing this as an NBC affiliate station, they are doing this with the approval of NBC National. NBC could drop them at anytime, but chooses silent approval instead.

by Anonymousreply 208/25/2012

I'm more concerned about the fact that a religion has the money, let alone the legal ability, to own a network TV station affiliate.

And as a church pays no taxes on the profits...

by Anonymousreply 308/25/2012

There will always be same-sex pulling from Mormons.

by Anonymousreply 408/25/2012

Don't miss the part where this station (and others) is owned by the Church, and they're expanding nationwide.

This is the future of media. Be afraid, be very afraid.

by Anonymousreply 508/25/2012

I find Honey Boo-Boo and the Kardashians "damaging to our culture", yet there they are.

There is a real simple solution: don't watch it if you don't like it or agree with it.

by Anonymousreply 608/25/2012

NBC should pull its franchise from the Mormons.

Any person who believes that a white Christian civilization existed in the US in Biblical times and that an angel Moroni handed God's word over to a whack-job like Joseph Smith to found a religion should be institutionalized. Not president. Not run a TV station affecting hundreds of thousands or millions of people.

by Anonymousreply 708/25/2012

National Bigoted Christians.

by Anonymousreply 808/25/2012

Um, do they think Joseph Smith appointed them the Censorship Police? How about letting THEIR AUDIENCE decide if it's appropriate viewing or not? Fucking assholes. That said...

[quote]NBC could drop them at anytime, but chooses silent approval instead.

Affiliate relationships are substantially more complex than you seem to know, so no, NBC can't simply "drop them" for refusing to air one show. They have a contract with every affiliate, and not airing a single show isn't grounds alone to override one of these contracts. KSL could sue NBC if they did such a thing, and they'd probably win.

On a brighter note, there are thankfully plenty of other ways to watch network television today than via a local affiliate; SLC viewers could watch it either on Hulu or, or download the show via torrent, or just watch it on satellite if they have DirecTV.

by Anonymousreply 908/25/2012

Your best defense of NBC is "It's Complicated"???

If they dropped a sitcom because there were a black actor in it, NBC wouldn't be so accommodating. So yes, NBC is silently approving this.

by Anonymousreply 1008/25/2012

The fact NBC allows them to do this....

by Anonymousreply 1108/25/2012

I like how Ellen Barkin (who's in the TV show) commented on Twitter that this channel is still airing Law & Order: SVU. So shows about murder and rape are okay, but a happy, peaceful gay couple is dangerous? Nice priorities, Mormons.

by Anonymousreply 1208/26/2012

As horrible as "The New Normal Looks," it should be dumped on its own merits...not bigotry.

by Anonymousreply 1308/26/2012

r13, couldn't have said it better myself.

by Anonymousreply 1408/26/2012

Network affiliates, as opposed to network-owned stations, are free to broadcast as many or as few network programs as they want. However, now that the NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City turned down "The New Normal" NBC has the right to sell the program to any other station within the Salt Lake City market area.

by Anonymousreply 1508/26/2012

How is this even Constitutional that a religious organization owns a Network Affiliate? I'm not talking a cable network like TBN devoted to heir religion, that one can block from their channel line up. They are using NBC to invoke their religious beliefs on those that don't want it and don't have a choice to watch another NBC station. Why does someone have to search for an NBC show on other channels? If one were able to pick up the NBC feed from NY. LA or Chicago would be one thing, but you can't. Wonder how much the Mormon Church pays the FCC to allow them to shit on the Constitution.

by Anonymousreply 1608/26/2012

NBC didn't do a "Due Diligence" before it approved the license.

It is NBCs fault as it would be if the Nazi party or the KKK tried to acquire a franchise.

by Anonymousreply 1708/26/2012

I live in Utah for now and it's much worse than you think. The hypocracy is viral in this city. This church says they don't discriminate. Realy? 2 broke girls is one of the most sexual content shows on the air and it's fine?? They had an episode where the word cumming was said over and over 20 or more times and it seems the mormons are ok with that but whats realy scary is that one of them is running for president. USE YOUR REMOTE to change the channel.

by Anonymousreply 1808/27/2012

I think this is funny. All these mormons have kids, lots of them. They end up gay from bad parenting and then get disowned. If they come out straight and have kids of their own and can't take care of them which is quite a few, they put them in foster care that includes gay people as foster parents. So we can take care of your off spring and spend thousands of dollars and hours taking care of your off spring but we can't adopt them? As far as the kids know we are their parents and that's good enough for me. I don't need your approval because you don't have mine. No mormon ever will.

by Anonymousreply 1908/27/2012

Good, homosexuality should be left in the closet where it belongs.

by Anonymousreply 2012/06/2012

[quote]NBC could drop them at anytime, but chooses silent approval instead.

To oversimplify a bit, it's the other way around. The affiliate drops the network.

by Anonymousreply 2112/06/2012

How is it for non-Mormons to live in Utah? Do people try and sneakily figure out your beliefs or do they just ask outright? I can't imagine willingly living in a theocracy and having your choices for entertainment limited by their own brand of morality.

by Anonymousreply 2212/06/2012

Mormons still hate the gays, but the Vatican is trying fast, to out hate them.

by Anonymousreply 2412/06/2012
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